Here’s the thing with me and comedies. I don’t like spending money on them to see them in theaters. My thought process on that one is pretty simple. If it’s a funny movie, it’s going to be funny on television. So why spend the dough on something that in theory won’t lose any of its lustre on the small screen, unlike a summer action blockbuster. But after catching a screening of The Hangover in a packed theater in downtown Toronto, I’ve started questioning my stance.
The Hangover, which opens this weekend, is the story of a bachelor party in Vegas that goes wrong. The three principal characters wake up from their evening with the worst hangover they could imagine, only to find the groom missing. Hilarity ensues. That’s the story in a nutshell, and you wouldn’t think that a film like that would require a grand cinematic experience. But watching The Hangover with a crowd of people made what was a funny film that much more entertaining. It was the shared experience of seeing Mike Tyson air drum “In The Air Tonight”. It’s the mass laughter that we all broke into when a car trunk was opened. And it was the general vibe in theater as we watched a bad situation get worse and worse.
The Hangover’s three leads, Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifiankis (“the break-out star”) all put on solid performances, but while everyone is talking about Galifiankis’ performance, I found it was Bradley Cooper who left a real impression on me. The guy has real movie star vibe about him; I can see him going on to some serious leading man roles. And it’s always nice to see Heather Graham, who seems to have hardly aged a day since Boogie Nights. All that was missing with her were some roller skates.
I don’t want to give to much away with The Hangover, since one of the things I dug most was that I knew very little about film going in (the surprises are key). I think it’s the best way to experience this one. But make an attempt to catch this in the theaters. Half the fun of The Hangover is experiencing it with your friends.
That alone is worth the price of admission.